America First Credit Union and Vegas Golden Knights Celebrate Teachers With “Game-Changer” Award


Winners of the America First Credit Union and Vegas Golden Nights Game-Changer award program gather at Citi National Arena, the Knight’s practice facility in Summerlin, on April 5, 2021 after a celebratory luncheon in their honor.

LAS VEGAS (May 20, 2021) – For the fourth year in a row, America First Credit Union and the Vegas Golden Knights honored teachers in the Clark County School District with a special award. The Game-Changer program awarded four outstanding teachers who made a positive impact in the classroom and in the lives of students each with a $1,000 grant that will help to improve their classrooms.

Winners were celebrated with a private lunch.

Winners include:

Melissa Finnan of Grant Sawyer Middle School

  • Finnan goes out of her way to make all students feel like family. She created a giving box with shampoo, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes in her locker room so students could take anything they need at home. With the grant, she will continue to provide anything she can for her students to make them feel at home.

Stacye Tesh of Bozarth Elementary

  • Tesh was nominated for her unwavering dedication to her first- and second-grade autistic students. She is just one of 54 national board-certified teachers in Southern Nevada for special education, and continues to attend lectures and seminars online to further her knowledge about her practice. Tesh’s main goal with her students is to teach them basic behavior skills to join their peers in general education classes.

Shane Goffstein of Wayne Tanaka Elementary School

  • Goffstein encourages each of his first-grade students to realize their potential. He creates reading groups during the pandemic and focuses on improving his student’s different reading levels. He uses his personal funds to ensure that students have all the resources needed to succeed.

Sasha Jones of Jerome Mack Middle School

  • Jones runs an exceptional drama program for grades six through eight. In a year where being face to face with students was challenging, she went above and beyond the call of duty for her students. Her drama and anime club gained a ton of traction this year through interactive, virtual events like streaming movies, television shows, and “live performances” of other theater departments across the district. Jones even used her own money and resources for lighting, sound and décor for her theater space.

The credit union will accept new nominations around the start of the 2021/2022 hockey season.

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Editor’s Note: Please CLICK HERE for pictures of all winners.

 ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 82 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 126 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $15.6 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,184,290 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Jennifer López
R&R Partners
702.318.4203
jennifer.lopez@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union, Young Automotive Group 12,500 Pantry Pack Challenge feeds hungry kids

America First Credit Union, America First Charitable Foundation, Young Caring for Our Young, and the Young Automotive Group assembled 500 pantry packs at America First Credit Union Operations Center, one of 24 assembly events happening in Utah and Idaho.

Riverdale, UT – May 18, 2021 – America First Credit Union, America First Charitable Foundation, Young Caring for Our Young, and the Young Automotive Group teamed up to assemble 12,500 pantry packs to feed hungry kids in Utah and Idaho. Throughout April and May, America First Credit Union and 24 Young Automotive Group locations in Utah and Idaho assembled 500 pantry packs each.

With one in five kids being food insecure, it means many don’t have anything to eat on weekend when school lunch and breakfast aren’t available. The pantry packs will be used by local schools and food services to sustain youth over the weekend.

“We don’t want see a single child go hungry over the weekend when they don’t have access to school food services,” said Thayne Shaffer, America First President and CEO. “We appreciate Young Automotive Group for being our partners in this great effort to make sure we’re giving those basic needs to those in our community who need the assistance.”

Pantry packs are prepackaged, gallon-sized zip lock bags with specific, easily purchased items. The packs contain six meals and four snacks. Each costs an average of $5, which means a child can be fed for less than someone would spend to buy a movie ticket.

Those wishing to donate can still do so at youngcaringforouryoung.org.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 82 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 126 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $15.6 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,184,290 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801-913-9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union Announces Winners of $5,000 Teacher Grant Contest

RIVERDALE, Utah – May 14, 2021 America First Credit Union announced winners of the $5,000 grant awarded to ten K–12 teachers elevating youth financial literacy in Utah and Nevada. The grants will help fund projects for teachers.

To wrap up Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3–7, America First Credit Union dropped by West Point Jr. High to surprise Kristy Larsen with a congratulatory announcement.

The following teachers, who are using the free FUNDamentals financial literacy program in their classrooms, have received $500 grants: 

Utah

  • Jacquelynn Merritt Lowder, Belmont Elementary, Alpine School District
  • Mindi Barnes, Boulton, Davis School District
  • Megan Barton, Bountiful Jr. High School, Davis School District
  • Jesse Jones, Syracuse High School, Davis School District
  • Ashley Sawyer, Bluffridge Elementary, Davis School District
  • Kristy Larsen, West Point Jr. High, Davis School District
  • Monika Anderson, Quest Academy Charter School, Weber School District
  • Danielle Kingdon, North Davis Preparatory Academy 

Nevada

  • Savanna Brister, Amplus Academy
  • Adry Kewish, Amplus Academy

“America First Credit Union’s commitment to education is unwavering,” said Thayne Shaffer, president and CEO of America First. “We are delighted to celebrate teachers via our teacher grant contest and we will continue to make financial literacy easily accessible to educators and students.”

An emotional Larsen shared, “I love teaching and I love kids. For America First to give me this opportunity to spend money on my students and things they need is awesome. The FUNDamentals program has prepared lesson plans from America First. All I do is log in and download the hour and half lesson plans. It’s a great tool, especially for a teacher who is short on time.”

Teachers can request access to FUNDamentals by visiting www.education.americafirst.com.

Today’s grant awards are the latest in a series of actions that the credit union has taken to elevate youth financial literacy. In February, the credit union announced FUNDamentals, a customizable financial literacy program created for K–12 students and teachers. (CLICK HERE to read the announcement.) This free program empowers teachers and offers a customizable program, unlike many one-size-fits-all programming dictated by other providers.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 82 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 126 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $15.6 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,184,290 members.

America First Charitable Foundation Student Athlete Scholarship Recipients Awarded

High School Scholarship Program Wins National Cynopsis Sports Media Award For Programming Innovation

America First Credit Union President/CEO presents 24 Utah high school senior student-athletes with $500 scholarships each at a virtual ceremony held on April 22.

Riverdale, UT – May 6, 2021 – America First Credit Union recognized 24 Utah high school senior student-athletes with $500 scholarships, awarding $12,000 scholarships in total. The students were awarded during at a virtual ceremony on April 22. To date, the credit union has awarded more than $88,500 in scholarships to deserving student athletes.
“We’re excited to be presenting each of these deserving students with this recognition,” said Thayne Shaffer, President/CEO of America First Credit Union. “We want our students to be financially secure, and one way we fuel this is by encouraging higher education through the scholarships we give out each year. Congratulations to each one of these student athletes in all they’ve accomplished.”

Of the 24 honorees, 21 students had a GPA of 3.9 or higher with fourteen 4.0-students There were also three athletes in student government, nine team captains and 14 multi-sport athletes. Each of the students who were awarded were nominated by their school for their involvement in a sport, their 3.5 or higher-grade point average, and outstanding citizenship and community involvement.

In addition, this effort—in partnership with programming by KUTV/KJZZ/KMYU stations in Salt Lake City—was recently named as the national award recipient in the category for PROGRAMMING INNOVATION DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC by Cynopsis Media at their 2021 Sports Media Awards.

“It’s meaningful to win the award for our innovative efforts to highlight the competition in Utah, and to do so in a safe and impactful way for our community. We could have won this national honor without the support of our great partners, and especially out title sponsor America First Credit Union, who shares our vision of supporting students and communities in Utah,” said Kent Crawford, SVP Group Manager, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Student Athlete Honorees include:

  • Sam Rencher – Farmington High School
  • Averi Hanny – Bingham High School
  • Abby Grundy – Herriman High School
  • Annie Watson – Skyridge High School
  • Josie Shepherd – American Fork High School
  • Peyton Rice – Olympus High School
  • Megan Jewell – Olympus High School
  • Cael Wightman – Bingham High School
  • Myriam Anderson – Ridgeline High School
  • Mason Kilgore – Davis High School
  • Makeili Ika – Lone Peak High School
  • Brandon Grover – Provo High School
  • Joshua Woolf – Bingham High School
  • Creed Thompson – Skyridge High School
  • Diya Rao – West High School
  • McKay Larsen – Corner Canyon High School
  • Mary Santiago – Wasatch High School
  • Reagan Kimball – Brighton High School
  • Austin Hallows – Salem Hills High School
  • Ben Boren – Highland High School
  • Andrew Harmon – American Fork High School
  • Marlee Lotaki – Lehi High School
  • Luke Johnson – Mtn Ridge High School
  • Paje Rasmussen – Corner Canyon High School

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION
Proudly celebrating 82 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 126 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $15.6 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,184,290 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801-913-9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union Announces New Executive Management Team Members

Scott Ellis (left) is announced as new Chief Information Officer, Troy Stevenson (right) promoted to Chief Digital, Product & Retail Office and Missy Key is America First’s new CFO.

Riverdale, UT – April 29, 2021 – America First Credit Union announces the promotion of twelve of its staff to executive and senior-level management positions. Included in the staffing changes are additions to the c-suite including Scott Ellis as Chief Information Officer, Troy Stevenson as Chief Digital, Product & Retail Officer, and Missy Key as Chief Financial Officer.

With more than 40 years with the credit union, Ellis has risen from the procurement and controls department to Senior Vice President of Information Systems to his current promotion to CIO.  Stevenson has worked for America First more than 22 years in a variety of roles including Senior Vice President of Product & Business Intelligence and as a Market Research Analyst.  Key began her career at the credit union in 1988 as a Student Trainee in Member Service and most recently was Senior Vice President Controller and Risk Officer.

These promotions come after the retirement announcement of CEO and President John B. Lund, and selection of Thayne Shaffer, the credit union’s previous chief information officer (CIO) and acting chief financial offier (CFO) as Lund’s successor.

“I’m very excited to be passing the role of CIO to Scott, CFO to Missy and having Troy join our executive management team,” said Shaffer. “Together, and with all of America First’s employees, we’ll strive to continue to improve the financial well-being of our members and make a positive impact in our community.

In addition, the following people have been promoted to senior vice president and vice president positions within America First:

  • Zach Winegar, Senior Vice President Marketing
  • Craig Budge, Vice President Accounting
  • Brodie Cook, Vice President Product Management
  • Brett Greenwell, Vice President Member & Partner Relations
  • Andrew Qualls, Vice President – Chief Information Security Officer
  • James Romer, Vice President Data Science & Analytics
  • Kent Swenson, Vice President Information Systems
  • Tara Douglas, Vice President of Indirect Lending
  • Kymrie Turner, Vice President of Direct Lending

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 82 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 128 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $15.6 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,184,290 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801-913-9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

America First Credit Union Renews Multi-Year Partnership Agreement with University of Utah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

America First Credit Union Renews Multi-Year Partnership Agreement with University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT – April 15, 2021 – America First Credit Union has renewed their multi-year partnership agreement with the University of Utah Athletics through Utes Sports Properties. With this move the Utah-based credit union becomes the Official Credit Union of Utah Athletics.

The partnership includes a top-tier sponsorship with the Red Rocks, one of the nation’s premiere women’s gymnastics teams and the PAC-12 regular season champions, who will be competing in the 2021 NCAA Championship in Fort Worth this weekend. The agreement also gives America First a presence at various athletic events including those help at Rice Eccles Stadium and the Huntsman Center.

Through this partnership, credit union members are able to select the University of Utah marks to proudly display on America First Visa® Debit and Credit cards. America First members that wish to include a University of Utah mark can do so by visiting AmericaFirst.com or any of their 128 branch locations.

“We appreciate America First’s unwavering support of the University, our hard-working student-athletes and our overall athletics programming,” said University of Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan. “The Utes’ corporate partner family is invaluable, and we’re grateful for those commitments. We’re look forward to continuing our relationship with America First Credit Union and seeing fans proudly carry a co-branded card showing their Utah pride and affinity.”

America First has been a long-standing partner of the University of Utah and has enjoyed a robust relationship and presence at University including seasonal giveaways and has awarded multiple $500 grants to students through the University Campus Store. As part of their involvement with the Crimson Club, America First proudly supports Utes with Wings by making an annual donation to help support their mission of supporting Utah female student-athletes.  In addition, since 2016 the credit union makes an annual donation to the University of Utah to cover tuition of its mascot, Swoop.

“America First Credit Union is always looking for ways to provide value to our members and enhance our communities and we’re thankful to be able to provide that through our partnership with University of Utah Athletics,” said Thayne Shaffer, AFCU President and CEO. “We’ll continue to invest in community members and organizations that support and inspire those in our community to always land on their feet, both literally and financially.”

Utes Sports Properties, which manages the America First Credit Union relationship on behalf of the university, is the locally based Learfield IMG College team solely dedicated to representing the Utes.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 82 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 128 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $14.9 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,176,375 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Kelsey Richardson
R&R Partners
801-913-9454
Kelsey.richardson@rrpartners.com

Achieving Strong Results in a Tumultuous 2020, and a Bid of Farewell

Dear Members,

Without question, 2020 was an unprecedented time and will be recorded in the history books as such. A global pandemic, earthquakes, hurricane-force winds, civil unrest, and major economic challenges were among the significant issues to impact our lives. However, I can report that, literally and figuratively, America First Credit Union weathered last year’s storms and challenges very well.

Accessing financial services is essential to the well-being of individuals, families, communities, and our country as a whole. America First was well-prepared when COVID-19 arrived, and we responded quickly and effectively to keep our staff and members safe, while continuing our operations and support. We acknowledge and appreciate your patience and understanding during these demanding, complicated circumstances.

While other institutions closed branches, or limited service to drive-through windows, we kept 73% of our locations open, ensuring the membership could conduct business at physical facilities, with ATMs, and via live telephone support. We additionally enhanced our award-winning mobile, online, and web services that are available 24/7. Back-office operations were also adjusted and adapted to this new environment, with many working from home or in remote capacities. It was truly a remarkable team effort, and I express my utmost gratitude to everyone involved.

Despite the many obstacles, our performance during the year was outstanding. America First ranks among the top 10 credit unions in the entire nation. While such rankings are indicative of our commitment to excellence, what remains most important to us is how we serve each member individually, providing relevant financial solutions to meet their changing needs throughout their lifetime. With that in mind, presented below are three guideposts that drive our focus, as well as some accomplishments within these areas.

Lifetime Relationships

It is our desire to establish a meaningful and lasting association with those we serve. Through research and experience, it is abundantly clear that members who are using more of our products are satisfied, loyal, and happy. These findings provide us with confidence in our ability to deliver solutions that can simplify each stage of your financial life. Examples include:

Financial Literacy

  • Free financial seminars
  • Free financial counseling services
  • Financial literacy instruction at local schools
  • Free credit scores and products to assist members who are rebuilding
  • Interactive web-based and social media learning tools

Award-Winning 24/7 Digital and Online Services

  • Comprehensive online banking and web portal
  • Go-anywhere mobile banking, featuring remote deposits & bill pay
  • Apple, Android & Samsung Pay
  • No-fee ATM access
  • Zelle® person-to-person transfers

Branch & Telephone Access

  • 127 locations in multiple states
  • Toll-free phone access
  • 24/7 fully automated telephone banking

Your Financial Security

  • Free identity theft recovery and monitoring services
  • Free Card Guard® mobile app
  • Free direct deposits

Multiple Savings & Transaction Options

  • Youth and student accounts
  • Share, money market, individual retirement, certificate, and health savings accounts
  • Business and commercial deposit & transaction accounts
  • Business merchant account services
  • Diverse checking & debit card options

Lending

  • #1 auto lender in our region
  • #1 regional SBA lender
  • RV loans
  • Auto/RV research and valuation tools
  • Convenient on-site dealer financing
  • Mortgage, real estate, home equity, and construction loans
  • Low-rate Visa® cards with cash back & rewards
  • Lines of credit and overdraft protection
  • Business, commercial, and Payroll Protection Program loans
  • Personal and consolidation loans

Complete Financial Needs

  • Trust & retirement planning services
  • Investments
  • Insurance
  • And more

Financial Strength & Integrity

America First is safe, sound, and independently rated among the best and strongest financial institutions in the U.S. We remain dedicated to ensuring the organization’s integrity and upholding the highest ethical standards.

Accordingly, our net worth equaled $1.410 billion at year’s end, up 10.29% from 2019 and closing at 9.78%. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), our federal regulator, considers 7.00% well-capitalized. Sophisticated capital planning techniques and models provide us with the ability to retain adequate capital positions going forward. America First additionally achieved positive/unqualified exam results from the NCUA and an independent external auditor.

Credit union assets increased 23.0% to $14.411 billion, with federal stimulus payments being a factor in this higher figure. Yearly net income exceeded $131.5 million, producing a healthy 1.00% return on assets. America First’s loan portfolio grew by 6.02% to $9.921 billion, while deposits were 25.06% higher to finish at $12.944 billion. The 2020 loan/deposit ratio ended at 76.69%, down from 90.48% a year ago. The high deposit growth and lessened loan demand resulting from the pandemic and economic retraction are the primary causes for a lower ratio. Our overall loan portfolio mix is diversified, has minimal interest rate risk, and reflects appropriate credit risk levels. Allowance for loan loss reserves are more than adequate to absorb any portfolio deficiencies.

Our key security priority is protecting members’ personal data, information, resources, and accounts. To this end, internal and external reviews take place regularly, as do enhancements, upgrades, and improvements to our information technology infrastructure, monitoring, and control systems. America First does not sell member information.

Strategic & Balanced Growth

Measured growth is essential to sustainability and risk diversification. America First’s field of membership is well-diversified geographically and socioeconomically, and we expect stable growth prospects in the future. For the year, membership rose by 7.03% to nearly 1.2 million. We are the region’s #1 credit union but, more significantly, we’ve developed deep and positive primary account relationships.

New branches opened in Murray and Vineyard, Utah, and in Las Vegas, Nevada. A business center in downtown Salt Lake City also premiered. After careful consideration, seven locations were closed. As 2020 ended, we had 127 branches in Utah, Nevada, Arizona & Idaho.

We are active in legislative and community affairs on local, state, and national levels. We believe it is imperative to be an outstanding corporate citizen and assist organizations working for the greater good. The America First Charitable Foundation therefore provides resources, service, and expertise to charitable organizations, non-profit entities, events, and many other worthwhile causes. Our employees and volunteers donate countless hours of personal time and effort to service outreach.

Genuine Gratitude and Farewell

My retirement is effective April 3, 2021. It is a great privilege and honor to have been part of this amazing organization for over 46 years, and to have served as President and CEO for the past eight and a half. I am blessed with the unwavering support of my wonderful wife and family, who have been vital to my career and who made it possible for me to undertake this incredible journey.

As I write my last report, I am humbled and have deep feelings of acknowledgment, beginning with the 59 pioneering individuals who formed our credit union in 1939, with clear vision and purity of purpose. I am the beneficiary of a true legacy built by former presidents Ray Hagen, Jim Dawson, Rick Craig, and the many wonderful individuals associated with each of them.

Special thanks to our dedicated & talented Board of Directors, Supervisory Committee, and other volunteers who willingly serve without compensation and with minimal recognition. This cooperative spirit truly sets us apart from other financial institutions.

It has been a pleasure to work alongside an incredible leadership group that is passionate about achieving exceptional outcomes and relevance in serving the membership. I am indebted to our staff team; they always strive for improvement and are focused on service quality in every task. Collectively, we appreciate the opportunity to serve and help individuals, families, and businesses improve their financial well-being. I am most thankful to you, the members, for supporting and promoting America First. Our pledge will always be to earn your trust, your business, and an ongoing relationship.

The Board of Directors named Thayne Shaffer as our next President and CEO. Having worked with Thayne for 33 years, I know he is a man of integrity, vision, and commitment. A Certified Public Accountant, Thayne has extensive finance, accounting, mortgage, information technology, and leadership experience. He believes in the philosophy of people helping people and holds dear the values for which America First stands. I wholeheartedly endorse and support Thayne and his entire team. The future is indeed bright and our credit union is in good hands.

Sincerely,

John B. Lund, President and CEO

America First Credit Union Expands Commitment to Elevating Financial Literacy Through New $5,000 Teacher Grant Competition

RIVERDALE, Utah – April 1, 2021 America First Credit Union announced today $5,000 in grant awards to K-12 teachers or school districts that build on their commitment to elevating youth financial literacy.

“Our goal is to make financial literacy easily accessible to educators and students,” said Thayne Shaffer, president and CEO of America First Credit Union. “All too often, teachers lack access to free and customizable programs. Our FUNDamentals program takes that challenge away, and this competition rewards teachers for rising to the occasion.”

To apply for one of the 10 $500 grants, K-12 teachers using FUNDamentals can share a picture of themself and/or their students using the program and complete a short nomination form, starting today through by April 30. Winners will be randomly drawn and will be notified by May 5.

The grants announced today will help fund projects for teachers. Teachers can request access to FUNDamentals by visiting www.education.americafirst.com. Additional information on the teacher grant programs can be found at www.americafirst.com/educators.

This effort is launching in April, during Financial Literacy Month, as organizations across the country conduct initiatives designed to improve financial literacy, especially among youth.

Today’s grant awards are the latest in a series of actions that the credit union has taken to elevate youth financial literacy.

In February, the credit union announced FUNDamentals, a customizable financial literacy program created for K-12 students and teachers. (CLICK HERE to read the announcement.) This free program empowers teachers and offers a customizable program, unlike many one-size-fits-all programming dictated by other providers.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

Proudly celebrating 82 years of servicing members and a long-standing history, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 128 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $14.9 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1,176,375 members.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
801.827.8655
ncypers@americafirst.com

Jennifer López
R&R Partners
702.318.4203
jennifer.lopez@rrpartners.com

Pack it Up: How to Save When You Move

No matter what your plans are, when you move it will always come with a price. If you do it yourself, it’s going to cost a lot more time. When you hire professionals, it means spending more money. It’s important to determine what’s of value to you. Regardless of the method you choose, here are some ways to save.

Getting Movers

Create a budget beforehand. Figure out all the pre-moving expenses and what it will take to get your new place up and running. Check prices online and get quotes from at least three companies. Be sure to clarify if they charge extra for long hauls, packing, assembly, stairs and storage. Talk to friends in the neighborhood and speak with folks at your destination about who they use.

Choose the off-season if possible. Most people move in the spring and summer months, since school is out and the weather is nice. However, some movers charge less between September and May. Scheduling for weekdays can also bring savings, since the demand is higher on the weekends.

Taking it on Yourself

First, figure out how much stuff you want to take. Sell things you don’t want to bring along to help offset the cost. Or use what you earned from a yard sale to help pay for furniture or electronics at your new home. Of course, it’s also less expensive to move fewer items—you won’t need an extra-large truck for a more modest set of belongings.

Carefully select the vehicle’s size. A larger one may come with a higher rate, but it will be less expensive than multiple trips with a smaller van. You can also rent helpful items, such as dollies or furniture pads, instead of buying them. And try to time your move directly from one location to another, instead of renting a storage shed.

Search for free boxes at local stores. You can also go online and look around your neighborhood for packing materials from those who have recently moved. And while you’re at it, ask friends & family to help. After all, you can usually pay volunteers in pizza.

If you’re changing cities for a new job, some employers will cover the relocation. Also, you can deduct certain expenses, so keep all related receipts. Please consult your accountant or a tax professional for details. Moving is never a fun experience, but careful planning and budgeting can ease your financial burden.

Five Steps to Take Before Buying a Used Car

It’s an exciting experience to buy a used car—especially when you finally find the make, model & color you want—at a price that looks like a good deal. However, before you get caught up in the process and sign the paperwork, here are five steps you should take.

Do your research

Don’t make a final decision the first time you visit a dealership or private seller. First, look up the vehicle online and, if applicable, the dealer. Use NADA or similar guides to check the value and read what others who own the same type of car are saying. You can even find repair records if you have the vehicle identification number (VIN).

Take a test drive

The best way to get to know a used car or truck is to drive it. Create a checklist beforehand so you don’t overlook anything. And don’t just take it around the block, either; see how it handles at various speeds on different roads. Use each of your senses by looking for excessive wear and tear, listening for strange rattles, knocks and squeaks and determining if the heater or air conditioner is generating odd smells. Press all the buttons, flip the switches, and turn on the lights to be certain everything is in working order.

Get a second opinion

While you’re out test-driving, take it to a friend or family member’s house. Talk to them about the mileage, the seller, the price and anything else that’s on your mind. This will give you the valuable perspective of an outsider who might be able to uncover red flags you can’t.

Visit the mechanic

If you’re not well versed in vehicle maintenance, you might consider going to an auto repair shop and getting a pre-purchase inspection. The mechanic can likely discover things you wouldn’t find just from looking under the hood. These normally run around $100, but spending a little upfront could save you from expensive repairs in the future.

Get preapproved

Never wait until the last minute to think about financing. Getting preapproved for an auto loan will help ensure you get the lowest possible rate. Plus, you can choose your lender instead of relying on expensive dealer offers. This will speed up the buying process when you’re ready. America First even delivers instant online approvals so you can get an idea of what you can afford before you even set foot on a used car lot.